This article is written for Evolving Beings by guest author Bette Ziegler.
One Sunday morning in during a late October, despite the beautiful day, and tasks needing to be done, I decided to attend a lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Though the lecture was to last for at least four hours and I was late thanks to over sleeping, an invisible energy was propelling me, shouting I needed to go. I grabbed an apple and flew out of my apartment, caught a taxi and arrived as the talk was beginning. I was the last person to arrive.
When the lecture was over, I leisurely strolled home, stopping on the way to pick up a couple of things at various stores. And then without warning, about five blocks from my apartment building, I tripped on the sidewalk and fell on my face. My nose was bleeding and I was dizzy, too dizzy to stand, but no bones were broken. “ I’m fine“, I announced to the people on the street that stopped. They thought otherwise, and someone called 911. I was told an ambulance was on its way. I remained sitting on the sidewalk.
A Fall that Would Change Everything
Though I was dizzy, I hadn’t lost consciousness, and because I hate making a scene, I asked to be put in a taxi so I could go home. I said going to the hospital in an ambulance was overkill, no need for all the fuss. Not one of the good Samaritans, who waited with me agreed.
The next thing I knew, the ambulance arrived and I was placed on a stretcher, and whisked to the emergency room of a large New York hospital, one where I had no doctors and knew none. On the other hand that didn’t concern me, since I believed I would be given a test or two and then sent home.
When the attending emergency room physicians were told what happened I was sent to radiology for a CT scan of my head and spine. The tests showed I wasn’t bleeding from the fall but the test was murky and so the CT scan was followed by an MRI of my head. I assumed all was well and that I would be discharged, and yet it wasn’t happening. Instead I could hear the doctors mumbling something about a mass. It seemed this was what the tests showed and they were waiting for a confirmation from the radiology department.
An Unexpected Hospital Stay
Since I had tripped as opposed to having a dizzy spell, I was shocked to hear that they were looking for a bed for me. Radiology believed the CT scan and the MRI showed I had a meningioma with a shadow surrounding it, pushing against my brain. I needed brain surgery. Given that this was a teaching hospital, a surgeon would come and speak with me and tell me what was necessary, what this entailed.
It entailed a four and half hour operation, one in which I would not need to have my head shaved because the cut was going to be the same, as that done by plastic surgeons when they operate. I would have staples but they would come out ten days later. I was surprised at how calm I was, as everything was described. The best way to describe it is to say I felt watched over.
Three days later I had the surgery.
The mass was benign (meningioma’s usually are) and my very capable surgeon, who I met but once before the surgery, was able to remove the shadow surrounding it. I was told, it is when meningioma’s are left unattended that complications occur. (A meningioma is something one has for years and though slow growing, they must be operated on, especially when there are shadows surrounding the mass.)
Though I was at a hospital where none of my doctors had visiting privileges, at no time during my week long stay did I worry, and worrying is oft times my middle name. Instead I felt serene and profoundly grateful for the events that had brought me there. My meningioma wasn’t going away, it was growing as were the shadows surrounding it. Down the road I would have had symptoms that carried consequences none too pretty. And would I recognize the symptoms when they occurred? There was no way to know.
Acknowledging the Gift and Blessing of Every Event in Life
There is an energy that is always flowing in this universe, an unseen current that is oft times called instinct or intuition. This energy, this current, is very wise, and when we recognize its presence, when we trust its wisdom, it guides and carries us along as if a beacon of light.
I believe everything connects. If I hadn’t gone to the morning lecture, if I hadn’t listened to my instinct and intuition, if I hadn’t stopped to pick up a couple of things at stores, I never would have been walking on that specific sidewalk. I never would have had the tests and found out what was sitting inside me, waiting and needing to be discovered.
The fall was my trip wire, the beginning of my very own victory parade and I was profoundly grateful for the strangers that called the ambulance and waited with me until it arrived. The Samaritans knew I wasn’t fine, even when I protested that I was. I experienced first hand that there are always people willing to help; it is up to us to take the help when it’s offered and not to let pride or embarrassment stand in the way. There is wisdom in the concern of strangers.
Both negative and positive energy exists in the universe. We may not immediately understand why things happen the way they do but if we look at the trajectory from beginning to end, it becomes clear that that there is a pattern and it is playing itself out.
We are not victims of circumstances but energetic beings who create our own circumstances and we are given the choice to reject or accept the outcome, which in its turn creates a new set of circumstance. Life is a trip wire, we do not always know what’s around the next corner but we do know that the corner exists and to move forward, we must walk on it.
That fall was my own trip wire. There is no other way to put it. It was a blessing in disguise.
About the Author
Bette Ziegler is the author of Secrets of the Self: A Guide to Living in the Moment – a book based on wisdom gleaned from more than two decades of meditation with the enlightened yoga master Bhagawan Nityananda of India.